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10 Surprising Facts About The Confederacy

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

I made this list in order to clear up some misconceptions people had about the Confederacy. This is not a comprehensive list of facts about the Confederacy; I picked a few that I thought most people wouldn’t be familiar with. Overall, I intended for this to be a fun and informative list, and not to start a North versus South debate.


Battle Names

1918 Elkhorntavern Thumbnail

Union troops were primarily city and town dwellers. They named battles after natural objects near the scene of the conflict. Confederate troops were, chiefly, from the country and named battles after impressive artificial (man-made) objects near the scene of the conflict. The battle of “1st Manassas / Bull Run”: The Union army named the battle “Bull Run” after a little stream near the scene, called Bull Run, and the Confederate army named the battle “Manassas” because of the Manassas railroad station located nearby. There were at least 230 actions that were known to have more than one name. In “Ball’s Bluff / Leesburg”- The Union troops noted the steep 100-foot-high bank rising above the Potomac on the Virginia shore, and the Confederate army noted the nearby city of Leesburg, Virginia. “Pea Ridge / Elkhorn Tavern”: Elkhorn was a nearby tavern and Pea Ridge was the name of a crest of the Ozark’s Ridge.




The states included in the Confederacy were: (in order of secession) South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. Geography proved an overall advantage in the south. The Confederacy spread over more than 750,000 square miles (1,942,500 square km), much of it beyond the reach of good roads or rail lines. The Confederate States of America claimed a 3,500-mile (5,630km) coastline, and contained nearly 200 harbors and navigable river mouths. Most of the interior portion consisted of arable farmland, though much was also hilly and mountainous, and the far western territories were deserts. The highest point (excluding Arizona and New Mexico) was Guadalupe Peak in Texas, at 8,750 feet (2,667 m). Texas shared an open border with Mexico – features that rendered a truly crippling Union blockade nearly impossible.



463Px-1861 Davis Inaugural

At a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the seven seceding states created the Confederate Constitution, a document similar to the United States Constitution, but with greater stress on the autonomy of each state. Jefferson Davis was named provisional president of the Confederacy until elections could be held. The Alabama State Capitol served as the capitol of the Confederate States of America until May 26, 1861, when the capital was relocated to Richmond, Virginia, as part of the deal to get Virginia to secede from the Union. In August, 1861, President Davis and his young family moved into the White House of the Confederacy, in Richmond. The house was abandoned during the evacuation of Richmond on April 2, 1865. The capital was then moved to Danville, Virginia. The city was the seat of the Confederate government for only eight days, April 3-10, 1865.




Confederate money began to be circulated in April, 1861. Throughout the next 4 years, approximately $1.7 billion worth of currency was issued. Most of the Confederate money was made using offset printing and lithographic processing because there were few skilled engravers in the South. Confederate money featured a number of unique images such as: mythological gods, African-American slaves and naval ships. One bank note did feature George Washington. Due to Union embargoes, precious metals were difficult to come by in the South. This was also impacted by the fact that most of the general metals were being used in the war effort. Despite this, the Confederacy was able to produce a one cent piece and a half dollar. After the war, much of the paper currency was destroyed. Only a few examples of Confederate currency still exist, making it highly valuable.


First and Only President

Screen Shot 2010-12-06 At 2.28.57 Pm

Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1801- December 6, 1889) was a West Point graduate who had commanded a regiment in the war with Mexico, and later served as Secretary of War. He took his oath as provisional president on February 18, 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama. He became the constitutional president on March 11, 1861, in Richmond, Virginia. Unlike the United States, which allowed for indefinite re-election (until the passage of the 22nd Amendment in 1951) of both the President and Vice President after a four-year term, the Confederacy gave these offices six year terms, but the President could not be re-elected.

His presidency ended May 5, 1865. On May 10, 1865, federal troops captured him at Irwinville, Georgia. From 1865 to 1867 he was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe, Virginia. Davis was indicted for treason in 1866, but the next year was released on a bond of $100,000, signed by the American newspaper publisher Horace Greeley and other influential Northerners. In 1868, the federal government dropped the case against him. His grave is in Richmond, Virginia.



Stars And Bars 800X600

There are actually several different designs for the confederate flag. The flags differed depending on which region they was used in, and the regiment they represented. The most recognizable is the Confederate Battle Flag which represented the Army of Northern Virginia. The Confederate Battle Flag is also known as the “rebel flag” or “Dixie flag”, and incorrectly referred to as “Stars and Bars”. The Confederate Battle Flag never actually represented the Confederate States of America, CSA, as a nation. The state flags of Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee are all based on Confederate flags. The flag of North Carolina is based on the state’s 1861 flag, which dates back to the Confederacy and appears to be based on the first Confederate flag. The first official flag of the Confederacy, called the “Stars and Bars,” was flown from March 5, 1861, to May 26, 1863 – it is pictured above.


Prisoner exchange


Both the Confederacy and the Union had horrid prisons, which produced retched, disease-ridden and emaciated prisoners. Neither side deliberately set out to maltreat prisoners, but prisons set up in haste were often without proper shelter and soon took in twice the amount of prisoners they were designed to contain. Arrangements were made hurriedly to deal with unexpected masses of men. The first government-sanctioned exchanges took place in February, 1862, but it was not until July 22, that a formal cartel detailing the exchange system was agreed to by the two governments. Under this agreement, all prisoners were to be released – either exchanged or paroled – within 10 days of capture. Though the North refused to allow regular exchanges to take place, sporadic limited exchanges occurred.


First Draft


The first general American military draft was enacted by the Confederate government on April 16, 1862, more than a year before the federal government did the same. The compulsory draft was viewed as a violation of the people’s rights, which is the very reason they went to war in the first place. Under the Conscription Act, all white men between 18 and 35 were liable for a three year term of service. The Act also extended the terms of service for one-year soldiers to three years. In September, 1862, the age limit was raised to 45. Men who worked as druggists, civil officials, railroad or river workers, telegraph operators, or teachers were exempt. 92% of all exemptions came from North Carolina and Georgia – mostly through fraud.


Equal Pay


The confederate Congress specified that black soldiers were to receive the same pay as the white soldiers. The Union army’s black soldiers were paid less than the white soldiers. A black soldier in the Union army would have been paid $10 a month with a $3 clothing fee taken out, leaving the soldier with $7 a month. White soldiers were paid $13 a month and were not forced to pay a clothing allowance, which is almost twice as much as the black soldiers. By contrast the Confederate army paid their privates of both races $11/month until 1864. Equal pay for both races in the federal army did not come into effect until June 1864. The Confederate Army also authorized a salary for black musicians in 1862.



James City Slave House

In 1864, the Confederate States began to abandon slavery. There are some indications that even without a war, the Confederacy would have ended slavery. Most historians believe that the Confederacy only started to abandon slavery once their defeat was imminent. If that were true then we are to believe that the CSA wanted independence more than they wanted to hold on to slavery. The CSA’s highest ranking generals, Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston were not slave holders and did not believe in slavery. And according to an 1860 census, only 31% of families owned slaves. 75% of families that owned slaves owned less than 10 and often worked beside them in the fields. The Confederate Constitution banned the overseas slave trade, and permitted Confederate states to abolish slavery within their borders if they wanted to do so. Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1868, 3 years after the war. Thus Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware still had slaves.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • theflover

    first one!!!!!!

  • rain

    Too American. . . But interesting.

    • timothyjames

      Show me a list on the Confederacy that isn't American ;)

      • Julius

        I spent the last 15 minutes looking for a top 10 list about the Confederacy of Independent Systems (Star Wars), when I realized that the movies were american too :-/

        • Dan


      • jackdaniels63

        Great point….I tire of all these foreigners complaining about lists tha are too “American”. Get over it and get on with your poor pathetic non- American lives! HAHA!

    • Zak

      are you from America, by God you sound like you are

      • bluesman87


    • subick

      LOVEEEE buster keaton

      • kubrick

        me too
        he let the confederates win in his movie
        great guy, smart guy

        are you copying my name?

    • murpheyslawyer

      Shut up

  • iWish


  • timothyjames

    Started off slow, but it definitely finished strongly with those slavery/equal pays facts. I was surprised by both of those. Thinking about it, it actually makes a lot more sense that the misconceptions that a lot of people hold.

    • ray

      History's always written by the winner.

    • Jax

      and how are we suppose to believe this? or anything else….

    • TheStranger

      The final 'misconception' is actually true.
      Read Alexander H. Stephens' Vice-Presidential Inauguration Speech.

  • 23redleader

    perfectly American! good info as well!!!

  • #1 reads surprisingly close the paragraphs 2 & 3 of this piece:

    Repeating it doesn't make it more true…

    • jroache

      Hardly, the author took some facts and added some from other sources, summarized, paraphrased or reworded. That's the whole point when working with something that isn't original.

      • Original writing doesn't take the same argument but just change things around a little bit. It is a bit high schoolish to essentially plagarize both a point and the argument conveying it.

    • TEX

      or less true

  • rehuntjr

    Also, almost all the Regular Army generals on both sides were educated at the United States Military Academy at West Point in upstate New York. However, most of the really good ones came from the South and resigned from the Federal Army to join the Confederates.

    And that gave the South a tremendous advantage in skill and leadership during the early years of the war. It took the North several years to finally find good generals like Grant and Sherman to counter the Confederates' advantage.

    Civil wars by definition are fought between sides that know each other very well but it's unlikely that officers in any other civil war knew each other as well as these two sides did. They literally lived together, studied together and fought the Mexican War on the same side together.

    • Rach

      West Point is not in upstate New York, just fyi. Quite the opposite actually.

      • agar

        Thank you! I live like 20 minutes east of west point and I have to constantly tell people that Westchester is NOT UPSTATE! There are parts of long island that are at higher latitudes then where I live!

    • TEX

      Sad but very true.
      There are many cases where brothers fought on opposite sides.

    • FilmCriticOne

      Ren — the "superior" Southern leaders is of course the mantra of South, alone with many other overstated "truths". Lee was not such a great leader, in fact he had to have sharp shooters behind his own troops early in the war, to kill his own soldiers that might run in battle (See "Reading the Man" by Pryor, page 410).

      Lee's stupidity at Gettysburg was monumental — and he was warned again and again against it. Yet Meade — the Union general — knew Lee would do exactly that. Lee had as many men there as the Union, contrary to what you have been told. Lee nearly got his army annihilated at that point.

      Lee also kept getting his men killed off by the thousands AFTER he knew the war was lost — but he was too much of a coward to tell that to Davis. Rather than face Davis (Lee had always brown nosed Davis) Lee would let thousands of his soldiers die. Finally Lee just ran off and surrendered, too much of a coward to the end to face Davis about it.

      • JHSmash

        Lee was actually a great general.He graduated 2nd in his west point class and was offered the leadership of the Union army before the war.Lee was loved by his men and that is one of the reasons why they fought so much better than the Union soldiers.Lee repeatedly thrashed the enemy and even when outmatched in weapons and numbers,he still brought many victories.The only general to really beat Lee was Grant who had to adopt a war of attrition to do so.At Gettysberg lee commanded 70,000 troops while Mead commanded close to 110,000.Lee was a brilliant tactician in Napoleonic warfare but the civil war was the beginning of modern warfare which is why his tactics weren’t quite as effective as they would be if fought 50 years earlier.Lee’s “stupidity” at Gettysberg was not a lack of good tactics but sheer luck of Chamberlin’s charge at the minute at which either side might break.Lee fought on after the war was “lost” because he was fiercely patriotic to Virginia and his men would have refused to surrender anyway.Lee was also a gentleman who respected his enemy and when he could have started a guerilla campaign in america,he instead surrendered at Appotomox.Just because he was on the loosing side doesnt mean he was a bad commander.

    • Geaux

      Sherman came from the south too. He left his position as President of LSU to fight for the Union.

    • Friant

      Ah, good old Sherman. Only someone as crazy as him could have pulled off that march to the Atlantic.

  • hayleysaidd

    Do you realize that you are really annoying? It's not cute or funny to anyone, just genuinely annoying. No one laughs

    • TEX

      You do realize that if you had not responded there would simply be a blank post with “…comment…deleted” – everyone is free to do as they please here of course – but I choose to ignore him – no thumbs – and especially no recognition by a response – see his name, ignore, skip to next post.

  • Could an administrator explain why my comment was deleted?

    • timothyjames

      It was flagged and deleted automatically as spam (probably for including the link). Should be fixed now.

  • Ninja_Wallaby

    Surprised by some of the facts presented here. Although I thought that the general tone of the list was biased towards the confederacy, and some of the facts seemed to be about comparisons or general facts on the American civil war. Still a fairly good list I learned some new stuff.

    • timothyjames

      Yeah, I agree. Although it's possible that after being so used to hearing about the negative qualities of the Confederacy, hearing some good ones is unusual and striking.

      • Ninja_Wallaby

        I'm in Australia so I wouldn't say I was used to hearing anything negative but I must say I did have some preconceptions. It's a good point, but I still think the general tone is a little biased.

    • jroache

      It is titled "10 Surprising Facts About The Confederacy", so it's not so much bias as about the topic chosen. If it were about the civil war as a whole(or in part), then it would biased.

  • Name

    Informative list I enjooyed the read, you learn something new every day.

  • chrom3d

    if only nuclear bomb existed at that time, the war would have had ended quickly or a machine gun for every man hahaha..

    • mumps


    • lutroyboy

      Read the book “Guns of the South” by Harry Turtledove. It’s an alternate history novel about time travelers from South Africa who supply the Army of Northern Virginia with AK-47s. That book begins a series in which the Confederacy won the Civil War and takes us through later wars (WWI, for example) in which the North and South are pitted against each other. Pretty good reads.

  • chandlerbing

    I always thought the war was about slavery…what was it about? The Confederacy just wanted their own freedom?

    • RobFL

      Yes, slavery triggered the war. Plus, many Southeners were pissed that Lincoln got elected. In many Southern states he was not even on the ballot. It showed that Northern states had more pull over the South.

      • Slavery had almost nothing to do with the breaking away of the Southern states from the Union. There were numerous aspects that caused the Southerners to break away from the Union, including them wanting more states' rights, their general dislike for the Yankees, and the numerous concessions politicians had made to the South, which often contradicted each other and the Constitution. It was like a ticking time bomb. Think of it as this: Slavery was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    • Steven Douglas

      Follow the money. And the political power. The war was about Northern vs. Southern states' interests/rights/power. The South was primarily an agricultural economy, while the North was more of a growing (and far more prosperous as a result), industrial economy. The disparity was already widespread, and that even equated to more political power (the North had far more gold, which positioned them to make more favorable rules for themselves, generally speaking).

      Slavery was only a symptom of that larger problem. It was never a question of whether slavery would end (it didn't end completely, even in some northern states, until three years after the war ended), but only how and when. The Southern agriculture economy had grown dependent on slave labor, and wanted time to transition out of slavery. Abolitionists argued for NOW, and the election of "abolitionist" Abraham Lincoln was cited by Southern states as one of their reasons for wanting to secede from the Union.

      Ironically, while Lincoln fed those fears in his campaign for the Presidency, he did not free a single Northern slave with his famous Emancipation Proclamation (slaves in Maryland, for example, the state where you can still hear old white people refer to blacks as "the black face," were not freed until years after the civil war ended) — Lincoln only freed Southern slaves in the secessionist/confederate states with which he was at war. In other words, the Emancipation Proclamation was little more than a war tactic used by Lincoln to cause turmoil in the South.

      So, was the war centered on slavery? Ask Lincoln. He would tell you plainly that slavery, as an issue, was mere political fodder, a pawn to a much broader agenda, and something he didn't care about in principle one way or another — except as a means to a political end. Lincoln, first and foremost a Northern Unionist, intent on keeping the Union together (at all costs) wrote:

      "If I could preserve the Union by freeing none of the slaves I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." – Abraham Lincoln

      Google the above, I didn't make it up. I was named after the man who ran against and lost the presidential race to Lincoln, the president who we all revere and honor as a hero, a man of "principle" — the man who presided over a bloody war that cost the lives of more than half a million people.

      • TEX

        Very nice response Steven – it still amazes me how children are taught that the only issue was slavery

      • Struth

        An excellent reply Steven, anyone who wants to find out more may I suggest the Ken Burns 10 part doco "The Civil War". It certainly triggered my interest in this fascinating, brutal and above all, tragic war.

    • GoodOl'Rebel

      The Civil War was cause by the fact that in the South people produced more consumer goods than the North. The goods from the South were barely taxed and sent to the North. While the North made industrial goods put exorbitant taxes on them and sent it to the South. Slavery is an excuse for politicians and ignorant teachers uses as the reason the war started. The real reason was the North taxed the South more than the South taxed the North and that the South wanted a more "Confederate" government where the states had more power than the federal government.

      Long story short: The North taxed the South for no reason other than greed and the South wanting more freedoms for themselves picked up and tried to defend rights that are now common place

      • Mike

        Read Apostles of Disunion by Charles Dew. It is about Southern Secession Commissioners giving their reasons for seceding in speeches across the Southern states. In their own words protecting the slave institution was the main reason to secede. Slavery was not just some excuse for the war the North created post-bellum. The only States Rights the Southern states were concerned with were the right to practice slavery if they wished.

        • FilmCriticOne

          Mike yes, very true. I ldon't think Dew mentioned the Five Southern ULtimatums, which just blew me away. They were issued by the leaders in Montomery at the same time they created the CSA — you don't get more authentic that that.

          And Southern papers joyously reported this Ultimatums as "THE TRUE ISSUE". All the Ultimatums were about the SPREAD of slavery.

      • Talanic

        Are you kidding me? Interstate taxes were unconstitutional from the very start of the USA. They were some of the first things struck down by the Supreme Court.

        No, the biggest reason the people of the North hated slavery (apart from the brutal conditions, rape of slaves, medical experiments, etc) because the South wanted slavery legal everywhere – which Northerners realized would lead to all industrial labor being done by slaves, resulting in all free men of the North either becoming slaves or facing starvation.

        The history of the Civil War was written – mostly – by Southern generals. They told the story first and loudest. It was largely lies made to make themselves look better, but until people started to question them, that was all we had.

        • FilmCriticOne

          Talan, very true. In fact, the South's own documents, speeches, ultimatums, and books, show very clearly they went to war to SPREAD slavery. Not to even preseve it — but to SPREAD slavery.

          They shouted this from the roof tops, bragged about it, issued war ultimatums about the SPREAD fo slavery. Their newspapers gave glorious accounts of this as "THE TRUE ISSUE".

          How on earth the South has managed to keep all this out of the history books is baffling. They said it was about the spread of slavery, in their own official documents, in their own speeches, in their own Ultimatums and books. But to read them now, oh no, no no, we were AGAINST slavery. We loved Jesus. We were for helping the poor black creature find salvation!

    • The 10th amendment of the US constitution states, im paraphrasing here, that

      "unless the constitution specifically says the federal gov't can do something, its up to the states"

      When the north tried to ban slavery, it was completely unconstitutional. Thats why the southern states, succeeded. Also, The states made a choice when the joined the union. doesn't it follow, that they can choose to leave?

      Ignoring the issue of slavery, its as if Italy wanted to pull out of the EU, and the other nations go to war to for Italy to remain.

  • RobFL

    #1 Robert E. Lee did own some slaves for a few years. He inherited the Custis estate from his father in law but could not free the slaves because of the debt owed on the estate. Slaves being property, he did not free them till during the war, after the debt had been paid and his property which is now Arlington National Cemetary was taken but by northern aggressors and the slaves were freed anyway. My source is Recollections and Letters by Robert E. Lee. It was actually put together by one of his sons.

    • FilmCriticOne

      Rob wrong. Lee was still torturing slave girls right up to the Civil War.

      Oh, I know the BS you spew — total nonsense, and all the Lee papers show that. Lee's own papers show how he kept "Hunting List" of slave girls he wanted most to capture, and paid six times the normal bounty to catch one young girl, who he had tortured. He was very focused on the capture of a young girl who had a child so white looking, it could pass for a white baby, Lee wrote.

      Why was Lee obsessed with these white looking babies? What did he do with them once his bounty hunters caught them? We know he had the mother tortured, but what did he do with the baby?

      We also know Lee only freed the slaves AFTER he sold their children, and AFTER he tried repeatedly to sell them — he went to court 3 times DURING THE CIVIL WAR to sell those slaves. The VA courts ruled against him each time. He finally freed the ones ONLY because he could no longer sell their children or rent them out.

      Learn real history. See the book "Reading the Man" by Elizabeth Pryor.

      • RobFL

        Meh, I'll look into it. Thank you for the courteous comment on the "BS" I spew.
        Although Lee was not an abolitionist he was anti-slavery for sure. Before the war he wrote both Gen. Kirby Smith and the VA governor (do not remember his name) on the evils of slavery. How it corrupts the souls of both the master and slave. Hmm, maybe he was just trying to throw people off so he would not be caught in his scheme to torture the slaves he did not own.
        But I'll look into Ms. Pryor's book. Might be a hilarious read.

      • RobFL

        Ah, found the complete download of "Reading the Man" on google books. If anyone else was interested.

  • Will Trame

    There has ben a lot written about Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy’s lone president. Not many know who was Vice President during this time period. I once lost a game of Trivial Pursuit because I didn’t know that particular fact. It was Alexander Stevens. Good list; I love historical trivia.

    • FilmCriticOne

      Mr Trame, Stephens is well known know for his amazing "Cornerstone Speech" which was an astonishingly frank admission that the Confederacy was based on the "Holy Word" of God, and the "great moral truth" that God intended white men to enslave the black race — WORLD WIDE.

      According to Stephens, the inferiority of the black race was a great scientific, moral, and religious truth of the Confederacy — that the Confederacy was based on this truth. It was not up to man to even question God's will for whites to enslave blacks.

      The rest of the world would follow, like the world followed other great truths, such as Galileo, Havery (discovered circulation system) and Adam Smith (economics).
      Stephens was also famous for being at the Hampton Roads conference, with Lincoln, toward the end of the war, where Lincoln brought up the possibility of compensation for the slave owners if the South surrendered, and gave up slavery.

  • br0ck

    i didn`t learn anything new from this list

    • kubrick

      yo if you "mods" are gonna delete my comments you gotta delete this one too

      • br0ck

        nah i am safe

      • mom424

        Brock has matured loads in the last little while; he only posts once or twice per list and he usually (note I said usually) has something constructive/funny/not totally irritating to say. He does not flood the comment section with pathetic attempts at garnering attention.

        You on the other hand, continually flood the comments – and don't say a damn thing. All you do (not always, I do believe there is still hope) is prevent folks with poignant/relevant/hilarious comments from getting noticed – people just take one look at all the kubrick posts and can't be bothered seeking out the gems in-between.

        You can do better than that.

        • kubrick

          mom shut the hell up i know where you live and i'm gonna come gut your throat

          • bluesman87

            wow what a little pussy . bet you never even been in a fight in your life, you just stay in your room screaming for mommy to bring you meatloaf sandwiches while you jerk off to old VHS copies of Steven segal movies.

      • lerker

        Why? He wasn't being an idiot like you.

  • mom424

    Informative list this morning. Seems a little bit like excuse/justification though. Not so fond of that vibe – not in every entry – but it's there. Take issue with the last item – your percentage of slave owners is misleading – all that stat proves is that only the rich had slaves. Pretty much lines up with your percentages. And, of course, is to be expected. Poor white guys couldn't afford slaves – doesn't mean they didn't want them. Also if the southern states were all about getting rid of slaves, how come there was trouble when northern states didn't allow the southern slave hunters the free reign they were legally granted in the north to pursue run away slaves? Wouldn't have needed Levi Coffin's house (from yesterday's list), would they?

    • ach

      Exactly. Slavery may not have been an issue those in charge particularly cared about, but it was definitely an issue the public took an interest in. White people in the South cared A LOT about keeping blacks down. Where does the list author think the KKK came from if the South was supposedly so interested in equality?

      • FilmCriticOne

        Ach oh slavery was the whole thing to Southern leaders. Acccording to Southern leaders! Read their Ultimatums — written by the very same men who created the Confederacy. That says it all — all five Southern Ultimatums were about the SPREAD of slavery.

        And if you think the South cared at all about "states rights"– read the same Southern Ultimatums. Their ultimatums were all about STOPPING states from being able to stop slavery! THeir first Ultimatum was that slavery be forced into Kansas, which had just rejected slavery 98% -2%, and fought a war to keep slavery out.

        SO their first Ultimatum was to SPREAD slavery –by force — to the very state that just rejected slavery. How's that grab you for states rights!

        All five Ultimatums were about the same thing — the SPREAD of slavery.

        • bob

          cite your source…

      • Gray

        The KKK was formed to go after Republicans, Black Republicans in particular. During reconstruction the vast majority of the Republicans in the South were Black. Modern gun control laws are also an invention of the KKK, and not only in thee US, but the current laws in the UK and Germany are based on the Klan’s Jim Crow gun control laws.

    • allyb10

      Southerners mostly cared about slavery (at least initially) for the sake of their economy. Without laborers to work the fields, the plantations would not have flourished. Granted, forced, free labor is not the only way to get workers in your field; as a matter of fact, many freed slaves worked for plantations even after the Civil War. Of course, the terms of their labor were different at this point, as they were paid for their work and usually lived off of the land (called "sharecropping").
      In response to @ach, the KKK came about for a couple of different reasons. The most obvious one is the racist belief that women and children needed to be protected from black men. The other main reason is to scare black men away from the voting booths. With the 15th amendment came many black voters, which in turn elected many black men and Republicans to the government, something that the southern white Democrats were afraid of.

      • FilmCriticOne

        ally — -are you justifying slavery by saying it without it, plantations could not function? The plantations did keep operating without slaves, so its pathetically obvious they didnt need slaves.

        I think the main attraction for slavery was that which we can't say, even today. The rape of slaves, young slaves. These men frequently raped their slaves, any age, any sex, whatever they wanted. The bible even justified the sexual obedience of slaves, AND the torture of slaves. Don't believe me?

        REad Southern books from the time — read what Lee said about slave torture (pain). He said it was ordained by God and necessary for their instruction. Read the best seller "Slavery Ordained by God".

        The rape of slaves — even very young slaves — was an open secret in the SOuth. They could have hired poor blacks to work the fields, but they could not hire slave children to rape, or slave babies to sell.

        Remember — the SAME scriptures which they said justified slavery, ALSO justified torture and sexual control of slaves.

        • allyb10

          I will reiterate one last time: I do not and will not support slavery in any way. It is a shameful part of United States history. If you had actually read my comment you would see that I stated that free, forced labor (slavery) was NOT the only option for southern plantations, and I truly believe that the way black people were treated, both during and after slavery, is an abomination. I refuse to defend my comments any further, because I feel that I have said nothing contrary to the argument you are making. But I do feel that we are having two separate conversations now, and you are avoiding responding to my initial comment, that it is out of line, and even racist, to imply that ALL white people are somehow responsible for and in support of slavery.

    • Kris

      I must agree. Let us remember that for the Union, it was about keeping the nations united. For the Confederacy, they wanted their rights that they felt was being denied in D.C., which is why the ceded from the Union. The fact that they paid equally does nothing to justify that the Confederacy was more tolerant. Just how many blacks fought for the Confederacy? Who would want to fight for a society that would bring them back into slavery if they won?! Still, the South found a way around it — those lovely black codes and let us not forget Jim Crow!

  • R3djuan


  • Top Kill

    Very boring list. I hate it.

    • betterthantheoriginalwally

      Well – school boys never change.

      • Top Kill

        Well, fuck you and The Confederacy. Why cant people talk of useful things like mathematics, physics i.e science and medicine. Stuff that will take us somewhere better. It is stuff like this that wakes up the living dead.

        • lutroyboy

          “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana – Reason of Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1

          • lutroyboy

            Sorry Reason IN Common Sense…not of

  • oouchan

    I see what you did here.
    List was a bit boring to start out with, but ended pretty well. That last item however, doesn't sit well with me. It doesn't fit in with history….maybe got that from the newly revised Texas school books?

    Otherwise, decent list.

    • mom424

      Shit, and I thought it was just science textbooks they were friggin' with in Texas. Last I heard, their new texts had to put forth creationism as an alternate to evolution. That may have changed – but I'm not particularly hopeful.

      • G. S. Feet

        Oh no, mom. The Texans are rewriting history. I don't know of all the details, but one major move I'm aware of is to downplay Thomas Jefferson as much as possible. The new textbook drafts also cast the Civil War in a much different light.

        Lots of people think they couldn't care less about what happens in Texas, after all, Texas has always been a little bit different and after rooming in college with a full blooded Austin born Texan, I've got a pretty good idea how much different. Here's the problem though. Texas is the second largest school system in the nation after California. The "Big Three" of Cali, Texas, and NY consume the vast majority of textbooks produced in this country. As a result, what Texas wants in its textbooks, Texas gets. Unfortunately, not all states have such clout so they are more or less forced to use whatever texts the Big Three buy because those are the books that get printed. As usual, it's a money thing, but this particular incident could really rewrite history the way many of us have always feared would happen!

        • texas plumber

          history is written by the winner….and since texas is a member of the union against it's will, part of losing the civil war, texas isn't writing the history books…besides, there's religious nutcases in all 50 states starting all kinds of crazy bs to teach to everyone…as far as downplaying thomas jefferson….you are an ignorant person if you think that has anything to do with the general mindset of peoples in texas…that crap is coming straight out of D.C. Today's government hates the original founders of liberty because they would have each and every one of us citizens stand up to all forms of tyranny being doled out today…todays government would hang each and every one of them…at least our dumbassed republican governor mentioned the possiblity of texas secceeding again – albeit mostly for election time flash…every single state should be run as it's own entity – forget the union it obviously doesn't work and there is no accountability…

        • FilmCriticOne

          GS — oh the South has done this for THE ENTIRE PERIOD of public education. From the early 20th century on, Southern text book companies controlled the business, and they naturally were going to put the South in as positive a light as possible.

          SO they left out the Texas massacer of voters who dared to vote against secession. They left out the horrors of slavery, slave rape, slave torture. And they left out the insane extremism of "religious" excuses for slavery and slave torture.

          You will never find a Texas edited or sold text book that even mentions the Five Southern Ultimatums to spread slavery, for example.

      • Creationism belongs no where near a science book. How awful.

        • TEX

          I agree whole heartedly.

        • FlockO'Seagulls

          "No where"??? And you, madam, belong NOWHERE near a spelling book!

      • TEX

        shove it ladies :-)

  • bellasucks

    The list is biased towards the confederacy because its about the confederacy. This isn’t a list about the surprising facts about the civil war.

  • G. S. Feet

    Much has been made over the years about George W. Bush's abuses of power during the Global War on Terror, and rightly so, but he didn't invent the idea. During the Civil War, Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Without going into all the legal mumbo jumbo, suspending the WoHC basically meant a person in the North or South could be arrested and detained for an indefinite period of time, and many were. Many Northern politicians were shocked that the President would take such a huge, and basically illegal, action, but, as others have pointed out, Lincoln was a pragmatic man first and foremost. He wanted the Union preserved and if that meant having the US equivalent of the Secret Police arresting citizens and throwing them in the dungeon, so be it. It was a controversial move by a very complex and controversial man, but it is hard to argue with the results.

    • FilmCriticOne

      GS better learn what you are talking about. First of all, Lincoln acted totally legally for the suspension of Habeas — read the Constitution. Habeas CAN be suspended in times of rebellion. How's that for mumbo jumbo? IT's not clear who can suspend it, so Lincoln did, and when Congress met again, the first day Lincoln asked for and got their approval.

      Little details you forgot to learn. Plus, of course, the South suspended habeas.

      And — the SOuth had already had 40 years of total suppression of free speech, did you know that? Did you know the South violently and systematically stopped free speech, and free elections, from 1820-1861?

      Ever hear of the anti -incendiary laws? Do you know what happened from 1820-1861? GO read a book called "The Other South" or see this blo g

      I suggest you go learn real history. Someone poured a bucket of nonsense down your throat. You don't have a clue what was going on from 1820-1861

  • texas_plumber

    Here's some bias for ya'll…..long live the confederacy! Now, before all ya'll yanks start saying the confederacy's dead, just hold yer tongues…one of the biggest points that is a huge ommission on this list (i know it's not a comparisson of the two sides or a list of reasons for the war) is the simple fact that the war was not about slavery…that is one of the biggest misconceptions that is perpetually taught to our kids…the war was about resources and taxes, plain and simple…the north was a heavily industrialized union, or they were trying to be, and the south was hugely agricultural (as noted above)…the north could not run their industry without the resources and supplies from the south, which southern plantation owners were hesitant to give…the south wanted limited government and government created and operated more on a local level….you know, communities can run themselves kinda thing…and the union saw a whole bunch of people they wanted tax money from down south, but the southerners wanted their tax monies to go to local use, not a plutocracy a thousand miles away….hmmm…sounds familiar huh? "if the south woulda won, we'da had it made…!" god bless hank and his daddy…

    • Vera Lynn

      y'all not ya'll
      It's the contraction of you all.

    • Brian

      And WWII wasn't all about the Holocaust either…The fact remains that the Confederacy was made up of slave states, sent slave-hunters after runaway slaves who were desperate to get to the North, and treated blacks like animals/property. Even with slavery over in the South, blacks were treated like second class citizens (with seperate bathrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants, etc.) up until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. There is nothing to be proud of in the Confederacy and the South will not (and should not) rise again.

    • fighting69th

      Yeah, but you lost. And you lost badly.

  • MommaDuck23

    Great List, thank you!

  • TEX

    "to the victor go the spoils." – (always) incuding manipulation of history

    • Douglas

      Nonsense, the South has written 50 times as much about the War as the North ever dreamed. For example, there are over 10,000 web sites or You tube videos written by Southern supporters — and less than 100 that I can find written with the "Northern Slant"

      • TEX

        Nonsense, there are dozens and dozens of degreed historians that have devoted their entire careers specializing in the Civil War era. Not one, not one, publishes that the cause of the civil war was “slavery” – to believe that is not only ignorant – it’s hateful.

        • FilmCriticOne

          Yes moron, but the South has been obsessed with the Civil War, according to Shelby Foote. Of course many historians wrote about the CIvil War. But the South has written 10-100 times more.

          Why was the South obsessed? Foote says because they lost — but the real reason, because they were ashamed of what they knew — it was about slavery, slaver rape, slave torture, and the massive desertions by Southern soldiers. By Davis running away in a dress. By Lee torturing slave girls.

          The South has spent 150 years trying to convince themselves of a myth.

          The last thing they want is to be show their OWN books, their OWN documents, their OWN speeches, their OWN bragging, their OWN justification of torture, etc.

          For example, 300,000 Southern men fought for the UNION, and really won the war for the North. When have you EVER seen any Southern book mention them? When have you seen their honor and bravery and dedication mentioned in the South.

          Never. Instead, the South has created fantastic myths of honor and bravery which are often deeply flawed, to the point of being mythical nonsense.

  • Nic_S

    Reading this list reminds me of a good book – Guns, Germs, and Steel. Well worth the read.

  • rtaycher1987

    There is a terrible rumor going around that the war wasn’t about slavery. The war was about slavery.

    Or to be more precise the war occurred since the North and the South had come to demonize each other,

    mostly over slavery.

    When a southern congressman beat a prominent anti-slavery Senator to unconsciousness with his cane

    (as revenge for anti-slavery remarks and possibly words spoken against his cousin who was also a senator) the North wanted to lynch him , the south sent him replacement canes (he had broken his when assaulting Senator Sumner).

    Many Southerners stood to loose at the end of slavery and they convinced many of the rest that slavery was an integral and culture defining southern institution that could not lose.

    There were people who wanted slavery ended immediately but the centrists like Lincoln

    wanted a gradual withdrawal from slavery, above all making sure the new states out west would not have slavery

    so that eventually a ;arge anti-slave state majority would form and get rid of slavery. The south already upset about having less clout in congress then the antislavery states hated this idea. The years coming up to the war had been filled with concession after concession to the south. The south could not stand Lincolns election despite the fact that Lincoln was willing to compromise so they seceded from the union. Many southerners probably felt they were fighting for the South or for their home state(which many in those days gave higher allegiance then their country) but the south seceded for slavery not some states rights bullshit(the confederate constitution bared the southern states form giving certain rights to slaves.

    • yar

      Folks who think the war was simply a states rights issue refuse to look at the mountains of evidence that suggest otherwise. I'd say first off, read the statements of secession issued by each Confederate state. Seriously, Google each and ever declaration of secession, and you will find that slavery, slavery, slavery is at or near the top of every document. Plain and simple. The underlying cause for the Civil War was the enslavement of blacks.

      "Underlying cause", though, implies that the Civil War—and pretty much any war—is never as simple as A + B = Ft. Sumpter. The issues of states rights and Federal power were, obviously, playing a big part as well. It's pretty easy to lob grenades at Lincoln and exploit moral equivalency to prop up an argument that white washes racism/slavery out of the Civil War—indeed, it's a sign of either intellectual laziness, willful ignorance or cognitive dissonance.

      • TEX

        Abraham Lincoln’s own words – his inaugural speech 1860 – "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

        • FilmCriticOne

          Tex so what ? That only shows what scum sucking pigs the Confederates were. Lincoln was not bothering their slavery. Lincoln was only against the SPREAD of slavery.

          But even that drove them bat shit crazy. Kansas had rejected slavery and now LIncoln wins, and he is against the spread of slavery.

          The South, said just stopping the SPREAD of slavery was like burning them to death slowly.

          Learn what the South was about — the SPREAD of slavery, the SPREAD of slavery, and the SPREAD of slavery. That is what THEY said over and over and over and over.

      • TEX

        Abraham Lincoln’s own words – debate with Stephen A. Douglas 1858.
        " I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

        These are on the record – but you won't find them in the school books – and you won't learn it in college – it's all a cover up – manipulated history.

        • FilmCriticOne

          TEx those words are all over the place, are you nuts?

          Go read the rest of that speech Go read the full speech. Have you read that full speech? Here is a good Youtube video of a movie that included a bit from the LD debates. It's an exact quote from the debates.

          Go learn something.

        • Jecarr

          Really? I learned it in college. We read the entire debate. And I went to a pretty crappy local public college.

          Remember, Lincoln was trying to get elected in a country where, in many areas, people were still largely in favor of slavery. He was a politican you know.

      • Keeb

        Slavery as the cause is an easy way for us to think it now. But the question we should ask ourselves is whether or not we would have had a civil war if slavery in the US never existed. I don’t know the answer to that but I know there was a deep difference of opinion of states vs federal rights that would have had to be resolved somehow. You realize that before the war, people were as likely to think of our country as “A” USA as they were “THE” USA. Think about it. A subtle difference in language but a deep difference in meaning.

    • allyb10

      @rtaycher1987: It's true, the Civil War was about the issue of slavery, at least as far as southern states were concerned. As a matter of fact, South Carolina's "Declaration of Independence" (not sure if that's what it's rightfully called) really only gripes about northern hostility towards slavery. For them, losing slavery was going to destroy their economy and completely change the southern way of life, which is why they fought so viciously for slavery.

      However, as @TEX points out, for Lincoln and many northerners the issue had very little to do with slavery, though it WAS a secondary issue. The question was whether or not the southern states even had the constitutional right to secede. Lincoln claimed there was no provision in the constitution for states to secede, and therefore the actions of the Confederate army were treasonous. Winning the war was, I guess, the way to prove Lincoln was correct and bring the Union back together.

  • mordechaimordechai

    i remember a report on 60 minutes where there was that old newyorker female journalist nagging about with the head of Nascar 'cause it looked like they were wanting to open a ring in NY.
    apparentely the thing was so appalling to the woman who feared an assault by rednecks and good ol'boys chewing tobacco and wearing no shirts.
    That's just one evident example of that very blatant racism that yankees still have today.
    Anyways "Vae Victis" (woe to the vanquished) Brennan the Gaul said…

    • FilmCriticOne

      mordi, are you nuts? This isnt about racism, its about the insane slavery and violent oppression in the South from 1820 -1861. About the violent 50 year effort by Southern scum to spread slavery against the will of the WHITE people in various states. DId you know the South gave war ultimatums that slavery must spread into Kansas — Kansas had just voted 98% to 2% AGAINST slavery, but the SOuth promised WAR unless the North made them accept slavery.

      Did you know that? DId you know the South's 50 year Nazi like history of suppression of free speech, long before the Civil War?

      Learn some real history.

      • mordechaimordechai

        I was not talking about history. Except for that last words.
        Neither was i endorsing slavery. Far from me!
        I thank you also for those informations.
        But absolutely i said that looking at America's pop culture from a far (i'm not american) i can see many examples of prejudice towards people of the southern states. From The Simpson to Hollywood movies and so forth.

      • CaptianD

        Seems to me that your "real history" is only "real history" to you. Either you are the only one that knows "real history" and everyone else is stupid, or you make it up as you go.

  • “ODHI”

    Thank you for enlighting us more about confederacy;though I am afraid to say that there was somethi
    ng sinister about it all mainly focusing on the southern states.Times have changed so does attitudes towa
    rds different states nowadays.This list isn’t surprising as such…I Just will be surprised about NAACP
    reaction after reading this.

  • Meowzers

    I hate what they are teaching our children in school. When I was a kid, I remember being taught that the confederacy only began because they wanted slavery and the union didn’t.

    • TEX

      You were lied to.

    • FilmCriticOne

      Meow it was much worse that than, The South violently were trying to spread slavery. They gave war ultimatums — go see them — that the NORTH must spread slavery for them, into the territories. Did you know that?

      That is what the South demanded — in ULTIMATUMS. THey promised war if these ultimatums were not met. Did you know that?

      The North were pretty much cowards, the South was the bully. The North was always afraid of these violent terrorists in the SOuth. Finally the South went too far, they issued their war ultimatums, then attacked. Lincoln could not obey their demands, he had no choice but to kick their asp.

      The South has spent 150 years crying about a fight they started. Its time to grow up.

      • swampcat

        Bless your heart, FilmCriticOne. Deo Vindice.

  • Jimbo

    #9 – I thought Missouri was a confederate state. Quantrill's Raid came in from Missouria and burnt Lawerence Kansas to the ground becuase they where anti-slavery.

    • FilmCriticOne

      The South sent thousands of paid assasins out to Kansas, for four years the people of Kansas fought these terrorists and thugs, which is exactly what they were. They were paid Taliban. And Kansas eventually won. Kansas then voted 98% to 2% to keep slavery out.

      What did the South do weeks later? They issued the war ultimatums — by Southern leaders in March of 1861, that the North must spread slavery into KANSAS!! Here Kansas fights to keep slavery out! Kansas votes 98% against slavery, and the thugs in Montgomery — the Southern leaders — demand slavery there! Not just slavery, but the people there must RESPECT slavery too!

      Learn how insane and crazy these Southern leaders were, totally full of themselves, total violent thugs. That is exactly what they were. Very Nazi like.

      We cover their crap up, when we should expose it.

  • “ODHI”

    Thank you for enlighting us more about confederacy;though I am afraid to say that there was somethi

    ng sinister about it all mainly focusing on the southern states.Times have changed so does attitudes towa

    rds different states nowadays.This list isn’t surprising as such…I Just will be surprised about NAACP

    reaction after reading this.

  • bluesfan1875

    The Confederate flag is the mark of an idiot

  • Bill

    The first submarine to sink an enemy ship in battle was a Confederate submarine.

    • "H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare. The Hunley demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship, although the Hunley was not completely submerged and was lost at some point following her successful attack. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the Hunley during her short career. The submarine was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.
      H. L. Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. She was then shipped by rail on August 12, 1863 to Charleston, South Carolina. Hunley (then called Fish Boat) sank on August 29, 1863, during a training exercise, killing five members of her crew. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including H. L. Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even through he was not enlisted in the Confederate armed forces. Both times the Hunley was raised and returned to service. On February 17, 1864, Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons)[1] screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty in Charleston's outer harbor. Soon after, Hunley sank for unknown reasons, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost."

      [… ]

  • ach

    You know, if you want to make the point that the Civil War was not only about slavery, that's fine (and true), but don't swing the pendulum completely the other way and act like slavery had nothing to do with it either. The South was not a place of racial equality, no matter how much you might want to make it sound good. The general public cared a lot about making sure black people were kept in their place. You can give me all the equal pay facts you want, but that doesn't change the reality of slavery, the KKK, or Jim Crow laws.

    • Bill

      Its not that the South was a place of racial equality, its that neither the North nor the South were such a place at that time. One might argue that neither place is now.

      "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything." – Abraham Lincoln

      • Laredo

        “Its not that the South was a place of racial equality, its that neither the North nor the South were such a place at that time.”

        Well said. Several idiots on this thread would have us believe that northerners were already the equivalent of 1960’s civil rights activists by the 1860’s and that just isn’t so. We’ve come a long way since the days of slavery in the US – but that includes the north as well as the south.

    • FilmCriticOne

      ACh of course it was about slavery, and the South said so, loudly, and proudly, and over, and over and over.

      SEe the South's own Five Ultimatums. They shouted it from the roof tops it was about SPREADING slavery. After they lost, they changed their BS.

      Go see about the South's Ultimatums, but also considers this — Southern leader John Mosbey said later that OF COURSE it was about slavery, that after the South lost, men made up all kinds of excuses. But at the time, he said everyone knew it was about slavery, and he never heard any OTHER reason.

      But he said that years later. The South admitted very clearly, and proudly, and loudly, and over and over, that it was about slavery. Only when they lost, did their children and granchildren make up this BS about states rights.

      The truth was, the SOuth hated states rights almost as much as much as they hated free speech.

      All of the Southern Ultimatums were directly against states rights — go learn about them.

    • FilmCriticOne

      ach this isnt a game, this isnt a pendalum. Learn what scum sucking pigs the SOuthern leaders were. Really. They were violent abusive, men, who tortured women, sold children — and many raped their slaves and sold their own children born from those rapes. Lee himself tortured girls 13 years old, and sold their infants who looked as white as you do.

      These were men that said God ordained slavery, and GOd even condoned the torture TO DEATH of slaves, including the torture of slave WOMEN. Go learn real history, its 100 times worse than we allow to be taught. Its a shame our schools have got rid of anything that would embarass the South, it was led by evil violent thugs. Not men of God. That is all made up nonsense.

  • Lifeschool

    Hay, I just watched ‘Shenandoah’ last night, a really good movie about the civil war. And with Jimmy Stewart too. Any other good civil war movie mentions?? (apart from Dances with Wolves, The Good the Bad and The Ugly)??

    @ Stephanie – Two lists almost in a row – well done. And good topics too.

    @ Mom/G.S. Feet – Corruption of historical truth, surely not. Perhaps they also use NewsSpeak too?

    • Julius

      Off the top of my head I can think of a few. There is 'Gettysburg' the 4h epic starring Martin Sheen, about the battle of, you guessed it, Gettysburg. Really good epic movie, if you can sit through the 4h length. Then there's Cold Mountain, not really one of my favourite films, but it's one of the more recent civil war films. There is also a whole bunch of oldschool westerns about the civil war, for example, The Outlaw Josey Wales a really really cool western with Clint Eastwood. There are loads more of them out of there but these 3 are a good place to start.

    • TEX

      The Red Badge of Courage
      the book and movie with Audie Murphy

    • FilmCriticOne

      Life you gotta be kidding.

      Shenandoah was a joke. DId you notice Stewart and his boys cleared all that land by themselves? Nonsense, virtually all hard work was done by slaves, you didn't have to own them! Slaves were rented out MORE than they were owned.

      Plus the movie bent over backwards not to show any torture or rape or hint of such a thing. Keep in mind, Lee tortured 13 year old girls, and sold their babies, who he said could pass for white. He sold WHITE babies. I bet they didn't show that in your little movie. Those movies are goofy as can be.

      I adore Jimmy Stewart, but the movie was a horrible white wash of really vile stuff.

    • jroache

      Glory, with Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Cary Elwes.

      • Lifeschool

        Thanks guys – some really good choices there – 'Gettysburg' sounds really interesting. Shenahdoah may not be 100% historically accurate (few are) but the story was a really good one and I enjoyed it. They mention slavery but the family decide it was morally wrong to have them.

  • bansey

    I don't believe it.

  • Thorlite

    And now you are all slaves of the state. Until you stop reading the word socialist as “communist” you always will be…..

    Discuss :)

  • Stinkster

    Another interesting factoid: One of the original Confederate flags was designed with the crossed bars in the upper left corner on a field of white. However, when the white flag furled around the flagpole, the bars were covered and it could easily be mistaken for a surrender. Then, the bars were repositioned to take up the whole flag in a field or orange.

  • Pretty weak list. If you're going to make a list that purports to be 'surprising', don't make 3/4 of the selections widely common knowledge. Maybe 2 or 3 of these were in any way surprising. The rest were not.

    Also, as far as your #7 selection (money), Confederate money is not 'highly valuable'. In fact, it's pretty easy to find Confederate bills at most coin shops and they're not nearly as rare as you say they are.

    Worst of all, your #2 selection is entirely inaccurate. It's in this selection most of all that author bias comes through loud and clear. Blacks weren't part of the Confederacy in a fighting role until March of 1865, scarcely a month before the South surrendered. The only reason they paid black soldiers an equal share (for a single month) was because the Confederacy was crumbling and the South was desperate. None of this is mentioned in your selection so I'd love to know where you got your information.

    In short, the Union allowed black soldiers years before the Confederates did and the Confederates only allowed it when they were on the verge of collapse. But you imply that black soldiers were fighting for the South from the outset. Absolutely wrong. Get your facts straight. #2 is a complete fabrication. I'm sure I could probably find untruths in some of the other selections, but I think I've made my point. Weak, Stephanie. Weak.

    • FilmCriticOne

      Gabriel — there were no black soldiers from that desperate act in March of 1861.

      And they weren't allowed— those were SLAVES. ALready they used over a mllion slaves by force to do the work — dig the unbelievably massive earth works around RIchmond (a construction job on the order of the pyramids) and haul and grow the food, make the ammunition (in RIchmond). Slaves were already doing almost all the important work BUT the fighting.

      SO this act, in March of 1865, was going to draft those same slaves to use guns. But even then — Sect 5 said they would STILL be slaves. And the pay went to slave OWNERS, not slaves.

      Further more, to complete the absurdity, no slaves were ever processed through. A few were in "training" but the war ended.

      Out of this, the South has tried to say they gave blacks freedom! That the "allowed" blacks to fight — they had no choice. That they paid the slave equally — no slave got a dime, the slave owner was paid. Its typical of how insane the South's BS is, when examined closely.

      • Gray

        When New Orleans fell a militia made up of free Blacks fought against thenUnion Army, and were the rear guard which covered the retreat.

    • RobFL

      It did not seem correct to me either but I do not know enough about that specific topic to comment one way or the other.

    • Ninja_Wallaby

      Ahh this sounds far more accurate. There was something about this list that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. Might have to go do some research on the subject myself, as I hardley know anything about the American civil war.

  • Douglas

    First, the "equal pay"nonsense.

    That the "pay" went to the slave OWNER. The slaves in the Conscription Act signed the last month of the war, didn't get paid. The owner did.

    Yet you folks will walk around telling yourself how "fair" you were to pay equally! No, you didnt pay at all! THe money went to the SLAVE OWNER.

    Furthermore the official language of the bill, specifically said the slave would STILL BE a slave after they were drafted and fought. DId you know that?

    Here is a blog you should study

    • TEX

      no one goes to a blog for facts idiot

    • allyb10

      It's a little unfair to say "you" as if all white people living today are responsible for this unjust rule. I'm not denying that it was completely unfair; in fact, it is shameful that slavery existed in the United States for as long as it did. But you seem to be angry at every currently living white person for things that occurred in the past that we have no control over. I am proud of neither the slave owners nor the United States government during this time period.

      • FilmCriticOne

        are you kidding? You say "United States Government" as if that was everyone.

        Do you have any inkling of what was going on? At all? There were many in the North AND South who spoke out against slavery –did you know that?

        Apparently not. But in the North people were not tortured or arrested for speaking out against slavery. In the South, they were. Go learn about free speech and the South from 1820 on. GO learn the penalty for owning the wrong book or saying the wrong things. Go learn how ships were searched, mail was searched, books were banned — even preachers were arrested for the wrong message.

        Then when you learn what was going on, tell me all about how terrible the US was.

        Guess who put in their founding documents "All men are created equal"? Guess who promised free speech (which the South shat on) guess who promised no cruel punishment (which the South shat on) guess who had freedom of religion (which the South shat on).

        Learn what went on, then get back to me.

        • allyb10

          I feel like we are arguing different issues altogether. I have read your response comment several times now, and I can't really find anything in there that I disagree with or take issue with. It's possible that my initial comment wasn't very clear, so I will clarify. I DO NOT condone the laws created in opposition to the civil rights movement, and I realize that laws are made by people in the government, not by the average layperson. Unfortunately, some of these laws were made BECAUSE of the racism throughout the south (and I realize that I just made a broad, sweeping statement, but this isn't really the point I want to address right now).

          I know that many people in the south were against slavery, just as I am sure more than a few northerners supported slavery and, in years later, segregation between races. I also realize that speaking out for the rights of others was not possible for many people because of the corrupt government. But again, the point of MY comment was to take issue with the use of the pronoun "YOU," which effectively extends the blame for some unfair practices in the 1860s to people today. Let me quote a piece of your comment:
          " Yet you folks will walk around telling yourself how "fair" you were to pay equally! No, you didnt pay at all! "
          You're absolutely right. I didn't pay anyone at all, I wasn't there. I assume the phrase "you folks" refers to whiteys. Well, I can assure you that none of us were there to have done anything at all! Out of all this mess, this was my one and only point: it is inaccurate and unfair to criticize anyone living today for what a bunch of old white men did in the mid to late 1800s.

          • TEX

            there is no arguing with a racist ally – forget it – you are completely right –

          • H.L.

            " it is inaccurate and unfair to criticize anyone living today for what a bunch of old white men did in the mid to late 1800s"

            Thanks for adding perspective to the debate, ally. A needed sigh of relief.

            I would also add "rich" old white men to your statement as well- as I'm pretty sure your average poor farmer of the day wasn't fighting so the rich guys could keep their slaves. When I was researching my own ancestry (primarily from Alabama/Tennessee), I found military records for relatives who fought for both the union and the confederacy.

            As I researched the circumstances surrounding these records, I found your average poor farmer just needed to find a way to support his family, especially as everything was burning down around them. As the Union began to gain ground in the South, major southern cities became Union territory. If you happened to live close to one of those cities and needed the money the military paid, you became a Union soldier. I had an ancestor who needed the money and fought for the Union because he lived closest to Memphis, a recently seized territory.

            As alley stated, we are 150 years removed from the Civil War, but to add further perspective: most of the union and confederate soldiers were enlisted out of necessity. They were just a bunch of poor people (oftentimes, still children), who were in desperate times. This was your majority. And, sadly, those people didn't have a voice in the printing presses, the politicians' speeches, etc.

            Unfortunately, that seems to be the pattern for most wars. Rich men create them; poor men fight them. Race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation- nothing divides like wealth.

          • H.L.

            Program censors s-e-x-u-a-l orientation? Surely, even the three letter word, in itself, isn't offensive.

  • Mark

    About Davis capture. Initial reports were that Davis was wearing his wife's dresss when captured. Many people refused to believe it.

    But his own wife confirmed the "dress story" in a letter to the Blairs, that was kept in the Blair family for 50 years. She all but admits he wore a dress.

    No, he did not have on a hoop skirt like some cartoons showed — that was exaggeration that is common in cartoons. But he did wear her dress. In fact, when he was ordered to take the dress off, his wife went in the tent with him, and she came out wearing the dress he just took off!

    Her letter specifically says she told the Union soldiers that Jefferson Davis was "my mother". She yelled for the soldiers to leave her alone "that's my mother". The details of her letter confirm many aspects of the Union soldier's reports. These men insisted for the rest of their lives, he had on her dress.

    An aide also confirmed he wore a dress. It was no shame to dress however he needed to –he was running for his life. But he did put on a dress, and

  • Film Critic One

    About the Southern draft — it was far more extreme than the later draft in the North, because of massive desertions.

    Jefferson Davis himself went on a speaking tour in September of 1864, to shame, threaten, and plead with the families of deserters to send them back. One of Davis speeches on this tour actually shows Davis saying that 2/3 of the soldiers had deserted, and if just half of those would return, the South could not lose.

    Desertions were — by far — the biggest problem the SOuth faced. About 300,000 men FROM the South went to fight for the North, as volunteers! IF the South had those 300,000 men, no way would they have lost.

  • James

    Good job on the list, with the duel naming of battles. My favorite being the Battle of Lexington (MO) vs The Battle of the Hemp Bales. Though not using the same naming standards as noted in the list.

    Also I'm pretty sure there is still a large amount of CSA money and doesn't hold its value as much as USA money at the time.
    But a good idea for a list.

  • bellasucks

    The list isn’t saying the South is great and without fault, but its pointing out the the South is often misrepresented. The North wasn’t really a place of racial equality at the time either. Sure there were some good people that helped runaway slaves escape, but they’re in the minority.

  • peepshow

    Gotta love them Yankees!

  • Harry Turtledove.

  • murpheyslawyer

    Best list I have seen on here in a few years.

  • Stephanie

    For information regarding the topic on slavery, please see my sources:
    Equal Pay:
    In addition to the perils of war faced by all Civil War soldiers, black soldiers faced additional problems stemming from racial prejudice. Racial discrimination was prevalent even in the North, and discriminatory practices permeated the U.S. military. Segregated units were formed with black enlisted men and typically commanded by white officers and black noncommissioned officers. The 54th Massachusetts was commanded by Robert Shaw and the 1st South Carolina by Thomas Wentworth Higginson—both white. Black soldiers were initially paid $10 per month from which $3 was automatically deducted for clothing, resulting in a net pay of $7. In contrast, white soldiers received $13 per month from which no clothing allowance was drawn. In June 1864 Congress granted equal pay to the U.S. Colored Troops and made the action retroactive. Black soldiers received the same rations and supplies. In addition, they received comparable medical care.

  • Stephanie

    Some information on Confederate money: This site has some good information on appraisals:

    Also on equal pay:

    I'm having trouble finding information that states that the slave owners were paid instead of the black confederate soldiers. Could you please provide some sources?

    @ Jimbo Missouri actually never seceded from the Union
    Four slave states — Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky — did not succeed from the Union. On April 29th, Maryland held a secession convention and delegates voted secession down 53 to 13. On May 20th, Governor Beriah Magoffin of Kentucky had declared that state’s neutrality. Missouri held a secession convention in February at Jefferson City, but did not vote for secession. And Delaware had all but abolished slavery by 1861. Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri became buffer zones between the North and the South. All three of these states provided troops to the Confederacy. From

    • FilmCriticOne

      Slaves hired out — always the slave owner was paid. That was the whole purpose.

      Lee, and almost every slave owner, regularly "hired out" slaves, and the OWNER got paid. This was just how it worked. If someone gave the slaves some money directly, that's possible, but remember, every thing the slave had could be confiscated by the owner, even the slaves children, body, sexual energy, was at the beck and call of the slave master.

      Go read the scriptures that astonishingly, give slave masters the right to sexual obediance from slave women. And how the torture of slaves, even unto death, was supposedly approved by the by God. Everything about slavery was sanctioned "by the blood of Christ". Really disgusting.

      You can see the "Conscription Act" in Harpers. I will try to get the link.

      • Vega

        If the North had such a problem with the South’s slavery why did Kentucky, maryland, missouri and delaware still have slaves up until slavery was officially abolished? I’m sure these northern states justified slavery as well- including the abuse of slaves.

  • Stephanie

    @ moderators- I'm trying to list my sources but the comments keep getting deleted.

  • santa

    Fucking boring

  • Schnizzler

    Capitol, not Capital. One of my huge pet peeve errors!

  • Mike

    There is so much wrong here it is difficult to find a place to start, so I'll go with number one. Lee was a slaveholder, and advocated policies in the late 1850s that actually would have led to slavery's perpetuation and extension (see Alan T. Nolan's "Lee Considered."). Arlington was a plantation before it was a cemetery.

    To say that the Confederacy "began to abandon slavery" is misleading, and that is being generous. They fought it kicking and screaming. It is more accurate to say that slavery disintegrated as a result of slave defections as the Union army advanced further into Confederate territory (See Ira Berlin and Barbara Fields "Slaves No More"), especially after the Emacipation Proclamation made the destruction of Slavery a war aim (yes, the E.P. did not say anything about slaves in border states, but the writing was on the wall, and border slave owners new it). In fact, it has been argued that, rather than caring about independence more than slavery, they actually gave up the fight rather than engage in a guerrilla war because they realized that slavery, their raison d'etre from the beginning, was dead (see "Why the South Lost" Berringer, Hattaway, Jones, ed.).

    The idea that the Confederacy did not secede because of slavery, that the war was in no way about slavery, or that they would have, or tried to, abandon the institution is what historian Sean Wilenz called "one of history's most consequential acts of falsification." One need not look far to prove it. Southerners said so themselves. Read the speeches and documents from 1860-1861 (not what these same people wrote later, whitewashing their original motivations). I'll just give one prominent example from Confederate vice president Alexander Stevens's infamous "cornerstone" speech.

    He said that the Confederate government's "..foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery-subordination to the superior race-is his natural and normal condition…This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, base upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…" (see Sean Wilenz's "Rise of American Democracy" and Mcphereson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" and countless other serious histories of the period).

    The statistics regarding slave ownership, though true, are misleading. The vast majority of white southerners believed in a concept known as "Herrenvolk Democracy" (white man's democracy), and that blacks were naturally inferior, and that slavery was their "natural" place. Slavery defined the social, cultural, political, and economic order of the region, and all people thought they had a stake in it, not just slaveowners. Their letters and diaries from the Civil War era (NOT those written later) include numerous references to slavery or racist language to explain what motivated them to fight. To cite one example-One woman writing to her brother at the front (from a NON-SLAVE HOLDING FAMILY) "If I were a man, I would kill every one of those negro lovers." (From Ayers "In the Presence of Mine Enemies"-see also James McPhereson's "For Cause and Comrades"). I should also add that most white Yankees were not paragons of racial justice and equality either but by 1860, anti-slavery (not to be confused with abolitionism) was strong enough in the North to elect an anti-slavery candidate for president (see Eric Foner's "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men")

    Moreover, if you look at the early years of Reconstruction, southern states, in the wake of the 13th Amendment banning slavery, passed the infamous "black codes" that legalized a from of labor virtually identical to slavery in all but name. In fact, southern whites tried to maintain as much of the old order as they could. Sadly, due in part to northern acquiescence, they succeeded (see Eric Foner's "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution").

    The Confederate Congress did ban the overseas slave trade, but it is clear they did so to placate the British, from whom they needed help and recognition if they were to win. It is inconceivable that a group that advocated for its re-legalization in 1860 and actively participated in it illegally in the decade leading to the conflict would suddenly have a change of heart on the issue unless they were wooing European recognition.

    The Confederate Constitution may have given the power to slaves to abolish slavery (like that would have happened-again, it was to placate the British), but it did explicitly mention and legalize the institution by name, unlike the U.S. Constitution which did not even contain the word.

    Finally, slavery was officially banned in the United States, ironically enough, on this day, December 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

    This is a fine website. There have been lists that expressed opinions with which I do not agree, but this list contains outright subterfuge.

    • mom424

      Very excellent comment. I took issue with the same item. Statistics don't mean much without context. Again, thanks for taking the time to rebut so eloquently and thoroughly.

    • Steven Douglas

      Speaking of outright subterfuge, one of the problems I see with your analysis is that its foci are 100% on the sins of the South (I am not a southerner, btw), with zip, zero, nada on the absolute, scathing hypocrisy, and similar (if not worse in many cases) sentiments held by those in the North, who only "saw the writing on the wall" (they all did), not because Lincoln or anyone else on average care ONE WHIT about slavery or equality on principled humanitarian grounds, so much as the issue of slavery was a strategic part of a political platform, knowing, as so many disingenuous, opportunistic, nation-dividing, war-mongering ideological swine so often do, that ending slavery sooner would be Good for the heavily taxing North, while Bad for already impoverished and politically decimated South.

      It is one thing to wash the revisionist whitewash away from the South. I don't have a problem with that. But to leave the Northern revisionist whitewash intact (aka ignore it) strains credibility, to put it mildly. The stain and stench was on the whole nation, but the South ended up being used as the scapegoat for both the North and the South, thrown under the historical bus by an intellectual dishonesty, and unwillingness to take Whole Responsibility that has stigmatized, vilified and demonized the South, while allowing the nasty, filthy, guilty North to wash its hands in the blood of more than half a million people, has stuck to this day, and is NOTHING MORE than the spoils of victory…nothing wonderful or virtuous about it.

      You even went so far as to note that "…yes, the E.P. did not say anything about slaves in border states.." as if that was a stipulation rather than an opportunity to minimize the outright ugliness of an irrefutable fact. News Flash: Maryland, among others, is not now, nor has it ever been, a border state.

      Enough about the evil South and the virtuous North by silent implication. It is mind-numbingly nauseating to hear, and serves as a tragic reminder to me that we are not so far along with critical thinking skills as a nation as I think we ought to be by now.

      EDIT: One "unintended consequence" of letting brat children get away with murder: The South has been forced to deal with its racism, and is constantly under the spotlight – to the point where many truly, blatheringly ignorant people reflexively equate racism with a southern accent. But I'm here to tell you that it is my experience and opinion that racism today is far, far and away, orders of magnitude greater in the North than in the South. Why – because Hero Lincoln "freed the slaves" as a matter of principle and with the blessings of those in the virtuous North, and the North never had any racism to speak of or deal with in the first place.

      Hey, no brain, no headache.

      • Mike

        The list was about the Confederacy (not the Union), and the innacuracies contained therein are obvious. There wasn't much to find about the North in the list, let alone something to refute or question. It took a good hour or so to write what I did. I am not going to go out of my way in addition to all of that to refute facts about the North that weren't even included in the list, just so I could qualify as some "equal opportunity refuter." If that gives you the red-ass, that's a you problem.

        As for your "zip, zero, nada" comment. This proves you really didn't read what I wrote too closely, or at any rate didn't understand it . First, I did make a distinction between Northern "anti-slavery" and "abolitionism." Anti-Slavery refers to those northerners who objected to slavery for a variety of reasons (political, economic, and yes moral in some cases), and advocated the immediate halt in slavery's expansion (a move that most leaders north and south believed would eventually lead to slavery's demise). Abolitionists (e.g. Douglass and Garrison) advocated the immediate abolition of slavery, and were seen as radical, fringe group, even in the North.

        Secondly, I said that the White South's success in imposing as much of the old order as they could (viz. White Supremacy), was done WITH NORTHERN ACQUIESCENCE. By the middle of the 1870s, with the most of the Radical Republicans in Congress dead, retired, or simply not as radical, they essentially agreed to end Reconstruction, remove federal troops from the South, and allow the "redemption" of southern state governments by the Democratic party, which led to the era of segregation (again, Foner's "Reconstruction" is an excellent read).

        Futhermore, for someone bemoaning the lack of critical thinking, you seem to hurl a great deal of rhetorical bombs at the North, with precious little in the way of facts or logic backing it up. To take one of may perplexing examples, you describe the North as, among other things, "nation-dividing, war-mongering, ideological swine." Very intellectual. For someone who thought I was too one sided, you seem to set blame for the war on the North (nation-dividing?-Are you talking about the 1814-1815 Hartford Convention?). Such name calling usually evinces a writer who has a comically large, Paul Bunyan axe to grind.

        Maryland isn't a border state? Look at a map big boy. Border states were defined as, in addition to literally being in the border area, states where slavery was legal, but they elected not to secede. They did so for a variety of reasons. Recent scholarship suggests (Dr. Robert Wolff), for example, that Maryland's state legislature balked at the chance to secede because they didn't want their state to become the front lines, and trusted Lincoln's promise not to touch slavery where it existed.

        Speaking of Lincoln, he personally detested slavery. He expressed is disapproval many times; I'll just give one: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." That being said, he saw political, military, and legal constraints to declaring emancipation as an official war aim early on. He was afraid of losing the support of northern Democrats, as well as those pesky border states. He also thought the Constitution didn't give him the right to do it. Perhaps also, or because of the above reasons, Lincoln said early on that saving the Union was his paramount objective.

        He finally found a way to sell emancipation and get around, in his mind, the legal quibbles: he issued the E.P. as a war measure (something postulated decades earlier by John Quincy Adams actually). He won a landslide victory in 1864, in an election where emancipation (and not peace) was the salient issue, indicating that his policy won broad support that he probably wouldn't have had early on. Should Lincoln be seen as a leader or key player in the move towards Emancipation, as McPhereson argues, or was he led along by events largely determined on the ground by slaves themselves running away from their masters and making an issue of themselves for the Union army and government, forcing Lincoln to act, as Berlin and Fields argue? One could argue either way, but one thing is for sure: slavery surely wasn't dying in the South as a result of conscious policies on the part of the Confederate government to that end.

        In case you've never seen one, the previous two paragraphs are what an intellectually honest summary looks like. Notice the lack of name calling.

        As for your final shot, when did I infer that people with southern accents were racist? Whenever I referred to southern whites, it was in the past tense to those living in the mid to late 19th century. People today aren't necessarily like those that lived 150 years ago, nor should they be treated as if they were. That being the case, I shouldn't be judged, here in Connecticut, by those who in this state owned slaves until 1848, when the last slave in the state was freed.

        "No brain, no headache?" Nice quote, but I'm betting you don't have much need for aspirin or ibuprofen.

        • Steven Douglas

          "Such name calling usually evinces a writer who has a comically large, Paul Bunyan axe to grind."

          Hey, I like that! Thank you, poopie-butt. Blue thanks you as well, I'll take it.

        • /pwnd

    • conrad

      Great post … It could have been stated more eloquently.

  • whatif

    What if the confederacy had won? what would today look like?

    • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America.
      An alternate history documentary. Highly fictionalized, with a few questionable situations, but very thought-provoking.

  • Stephanie

    @ Schnizzler Capital is a city. Capitol is a building. The Capitol building itself was never moved, the location was.

    Main Entry: capitol

    1 a : a building in which a state legislative body meets b : a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out

    2 capitalized : the building in which the U.S. Congress meets at Washington, D.C.

    Main Entry: capital

    Function: noun

    3 [2capital] a : a city serving as a seat of government b : a city preeminent in some special activity {the fashion capital}

  • dread

    Not meaning to add anything to the contrary that has already been stated, but thought I would just make this youtube full movie connection available for those that haven't seen it and maybe find it of interest. Not a "documentary satire" by any means, but the closest to how it must of been from a few years ago (1 of 9):

    [youtube EViGaTSnqRw youtube]

  • bellasucks

    Thank you Steven. I agree with you completely.

  • CivilWarBuff

    the 10th item is wrong. It was the Union that named the battle 1st Manassas and the Confederacy named it Bull Run

    • elroxzor99652


  • james

    Thank you Steven. I agree with you completely.

  • Matthew

    Anyone who believes the last part should be directed to Article 1, Section 9, paragraph 4 of the Constitution of the Confederate States. "No bill of attainder or ex post facto law, or LAW DENYING OR IMPAIRING THR RIGHT OF PROPERTY OF NEGRO SLAVES SHALL BE PASSED." They essentially outlawed the banning of slavery. Make no mistake any attempt to outlaw slavery by Southern States would have been overturned by the Supreme Court of the Confederate States.

  • Arngrímur Stefánsson

    I was always taught that the war was because of slavery, yet later i learned to dismiss everything i had been taught in elementary school, checked out the story myself and i believe that the largest reason for the war wasn't slavery, but the fact that the Northern economy was industrial while the south was agricultural.

    Therefore an federal economic policy would have to favor one system before the other, and the northern states were more numerous leaving the south feeling neglected. When Abraham Lincoln was voted president, all the southern states voted for the democratic candidate, yet still the more numerous republican won(yes, appearantly those times the democrats were the conservatives)

    When the south realized that their say was to little in federal matters, they decided to seceede, and as explained up there, give greater autonomy to the states rather than the federal government, or confederal in their case. I do believe that the Confederacy would have abandoned slavery, probably within 20 years after seceding. However, how would our modern world would be if the confederacy would have been allowed to seceede without military intervention?

    • Breanna

      Thank you for being one of the few people in America who has actually taken the time to figure that out! I hate that kids are taught that the war was about slavery, because it wasn't. It was about states' rights and slavery was a propaganda tool. The sad thing is, nobody–north or south–cared about the slaves, it was just something that cropped up in the process of war.

      The greater majority of Southerners opposed the war but had no means to stop it (hence the draft–too few wanted to sign up for the military). It was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight. The only ones who stood to benefit from a Confederate win were the rich plantation owners and politicians, while everyone–mostly the regular citizens–had to suffer for their defeat.

  • sclibrarygirl

    If Lincoln would have just let the South leave the Union peacefully then 618,000 people wouldn't have died. I always thought there could have been more done to prevent going to war.

  • coolwHip

    If so many of you take issue with this list, then do your own list about the federal government during the civil war

  • potter

    Slavery was actually officially abolished today, December 6th 1865, when the 13th amendment was added to the US Constitution

  • Name

    what about this list is surprising?

  • Amrendra

    one more americanized list in the already existing pool of thousands… I'm now going to get lots of thumbs down for this comment.

    • redwolfblack

      you know another confederacy besides the one in america? o_0

      • Amrendra

        why can't we learn about any other country but its always the US. Many people in America don't even know the existence of many countries in this world but everyone else is supposed to know the deep history of US and what US did, what it didn't what they eat etc etc etc. Not done. Its really too much down the throat.

  • redwolfblack

    great list and very informative,its sad that this(the truth)is not being taught in schools today. I remember that when i was learning about my states history(georgia) last year. they way the made it sound was that the whole war was over slavery i hope that other people my age will actually do some research on this subject.

  • pv2webb

    That changed my whole perspective about the south

  • Name

    It is a complete fallacy that the civil war was fought over anything but slavery. This is a false view known as the "lost cause" that was popularized in the early 20th century to reconcile southerners pride in their traditional antebellum gentry society with the demoralization of defeat by the yankee north. Yes it is true that the war was fought over states rights. However it was fought over states rights in order to maintain the legality of enslaving the fellow man. If you look at all north vs. south conflicts leading up to the civil war such as bleeding kansas they were all fought over nothing but slavery. I am a southerner from Richmond, Virginia whose mother is a daughter of the american revolution, father is in the german club, and sister was a debutante. My ancestors did fight in the war between the states for the confederacy. I take a lot of pride in the positive parts of my southern heritage such as southern hospitality. However it is wrong and insulting to make excuses for the past. The lifestyle that my ancestors lived made so famous in books like gone with the wind was made possible by the blood and sweat of african american slaves. Also I haven't looked into the validity of these facts but one common myth is that of black slaves in the confederate army. It wouldn't surpise me at all if it turned out that the fact about black confederate soldiers is another "lost cause" fallacy.

    • Bill

      The first line in your post is so obviously overstated that it is difficult to give your valid points later their proper wieght.

      The perception that the South was racist and the North was fighting to free the slaves is incorrect. There were racists on both sides of the Mason / Dixon line. There were also people who were morally opposed to slavery on both sides of the line.

    • Breanna

      The people making the war-time decisions cared less about the slaves than they did about winning. They sent their own troops, men of the same race and heritage, into miserable conditions. It's foolish to believe that they paid any more mind to the slaves in the field than they did to their own men dying on it.

  • santana

    this list makes it sound like slavery "wasnt that bad". horrible list

  • Mr. Plow

    As a a dude who grew up in the north (MN) to be exact I have found that the education I received about the Civil War has more or less painted the North, and Lincoln, as the glorious saviors of the nation while the South were nothing more than racist, uneducated, hillbillies that wanted nothing more than to tear the nation apart for racist reasons.

    The older i've become I have learned that the South was not the evil incarnate that it has been made out to be and that, in fact, there were some outstanding reasons to revolt…and the North was not the savior that sacrificed their sons to free the black man. In reality, like most wars, there were heroes and villains on both sides, there were good causes to fight for (the destruction of the institution of slavery in the North, and the idea of a limited federal government with strong states rights) and not so noble causes championed (the suspending of certain constitutional rights in the North, and the social acceptance of slavery and all that goes with that in the South.)

    In the end, it was a tragic and costly conflict that created very few 'winners' and destroyed a lot of the country, although I am sure we can all agree that the end of institutional slavery is a great thing. We would do well to question our basic understandings of this conflict, as the reality of why it was fought, what caused it, and what causes involved were just is much more complex than any simple high school history lesson. It's especially important when discussing such a racially charged and emotional topic.

    • Becky65

      I live in southeast Alabama and you are very very wrong about these people.
      I promise you.
      They hate HATE Black people here.
      They are as proud of their hate today as they were back then.
      Anyone who thinks otherwise is just deluding themselves.

  • mrsmarvel

    Federal troops had Gatlin Guns. They were considered to be more humane than standard guns which produced a slow death. I'm not aware of them being used in any of the great battles though – I'm not a CW historian, just an enthusiast.

  • Tuco

    I love how people from the north in the U.S. just love to be complete snobs, and they don't want the south to have anything. If people from around the world are seeing this please note that the people in the Southern U.S. are REAL Americans. Don't let the media set the perception that we're just all country hick folk.

    • matthew

      Just what is it that you would like to have exactly?

  • lori

    The people on the north’s side could find 50 sources to back them up and the people on the south’s side could do the same. The information was probably biased the second it was originally reported. You guys are just never going to agree

  • jackson

    You’re all ridiculous. If you’re on the North’s side then you can find 50 sources to back you up and if you’re on the South’s side then you can find 50 sources. The original information was probably biased. You’re all fighting over something that was probably skewed when it was first published anyway.

  • elroxzor99652

    The reason the South championed the spread of slavery so much was because new slave states/territories would side with them in political debates because of economic and social factors that inherently came with adopting slavery. The South wanted more political sway. That's the main reason.

    Of course, they didn't want to lose slavery where it originally existed, but they weren't trying to spread it for any misplaced sense of morals "justified by God." It was all political.

  • Ashley

    Very interesting! Especially on the equal pay part with black/white confederate soldiers. I thank you so much for clearing up the geography part.

    A lot of people don't seem to realize, or accept, that Virginia and N. Carolina is just much part of the south as Georgia and Louisiana (along with the other southern states) . It's so annoying, as a Virginian and Carolinian, to have people from other parts of the south not claim us (and Georgians do it a lot :/) and then we have to explain how and why we're apart of Dixie.

    Don't they realize Robert E. Lee was a Virginian?

    But anyway, not to go off into a rant, thanks for the list.

    • Brian

      Ashley, as Gabriel pointed out above, blacks fighting for the Confederacy were only given equal pay one month before the Confederacy surrendered as a last-ditch effort to fight back the Union. Also, slave soldiers in the South were likely treated the same as civilian slaves. The Confederacy treated blacks like animals/property, and blacks were not given equality until the 1960s. In other words, there is nothing to be proud of in the Confederacy/Dixie…

  • Brian

    It's amazing to me that most people can't detect the bias in this list. Trying to hint that the Confederacy wasn't really about slavery is like saying that Hitler's war against Europe wasn't really about killing Jews… Slavery wasn't the ONLY factor motivating the Confederacy, but it certainly was an important one. Many wealthy Southern farmers had the benefit of free labor, and weren't about to give that up. To those that want to paint a rosy picture of the South during the time, I would say: Why do you think so many slaves were desperate to flee to the North? If the South treated blacks fairly (as the erroneous #2 eludes to), why did it take until the 1960s for them to gain the right to go to the same schools as whites, use the same water fountains, use the same bathrooms, etc.? I see this all the time where I live, it seems like Southern people today are afraid of admitting that the Confederacy was terrible. You see the rebel flags, the bumper stickers, and the affinity for using Southern "slang." In short, there is nothing to be proud of in the Confederacy and I think it's time people accept that.

  • BonzoBennet

    Slavery was abolished in the US in 1865 with the passing of the 13th Amendment, not in 1868. The last necessary state for ratification was Georgia in December of 1865.

  • JT

    Some very harmful lies and inaccuracies in this piece.

    #1 is Neo-Confederate apologism/revisionism. The fact is that the Confederacy was not anywhere close to giving up slavery. Slaves were the America’s biggest commodity. The value of them was upwards of a billion dollars. If you actually look at source documents you will see that guiding principle in Confederate thought was that slavery was not only financially important but culturally and socially important as well. According to Davis and Lee, slavery was the way Southern society was supposed to be organized.

    The assertion that Lee did not own slaves is NOT TRUE and NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED. Read Lee’s letters…he owned slaves and did not (contrary to popular myth) want to give them up. He actually sued over his slaves being freed. Lee was a racist man as most Virginia aristocrats of his era were.

    The mods of this site need to have the harmful and hurtful historical inaccuracies in this post corrected!

  • gigo70

    I find the American Civil War fascinating (I'm English). The first truly industrial war, with an appalling number of casualties as the consequence.

    I've recently re-watched Ken Burns documentary series about it – it is superb.

  • Talon

    "Most historians believe that the Confederacy only started to abandon slavery once their defeat was imminent. If that were true then we are to believe that the CSA wanted independence more than they wanted to hold on to slavery".

    Did anyone else find this reasoning backwards? They started abandoning slavery because they knew they were going to lose and the North and Lincoln had outlawed it. How does that prove they wanted independence more then the right to keep slaves?

  • Ralphhhhhh35

    The only reason that the south used slaves were to supply the north with the resources they needed to operate factories. It was basic supply and demand. If the north had not have demanded the resources, the south would not have to fill the supply. It is comparable to today's child labor in foreign countries. We all want our nice shoes, televisions, mp3 players, phones, and other goodies even though a child slave may be making them, we are not willing to give them up. Give up the demand and there is no need for child labor to supply us. If the north had not been so industrialized and needed huge resources there would have been no slaves. By the way, a major part of the war was about state's rights not only slavery.

    • Becky65

      There is no justification for use of slave labor. NONE. Absolutely none.
      I don't care if "it was the times" or whatever…IT IS NOT RIGHT.
      They were wrong, no matter if they were from the north or the south or any other part of the world.

      • Ralphhhhhh35

        No justification, but it was a reason. I never tried to justify slavery, just offering a reason for it. The American industrial revolution was built on the back of slaves from the south.

  • historyprof

    #10 is not quite right. The Union names for battles were named for rivers because the Union Army had the 'official' maps of the United States compiled by the Army Corps of Engineers. Because they were topographical maps, water courses were especially prominent. That is also why Union armies were named after rivers, such as the Army of the Potomac. The Confederates, on the other hand, had to use whatever commercial maps were available, which meant railroad maps. This is why Confederate battles are named for the closest town or railroad junction and Confederate armies were named for geographical regions, such as the Army of Northern Virginia.

  • Laredo

    …and you’re a fucking dumb ass. If you have no interest in our Civil War, don’t read the list. Moron.

    • Becky65

      No need for that here. He didn't say anything wrong…geesh.

  • Becky65

    I live in southeast Alabama. I am originally from Burlington Vermont. My family first moved here in 1978 when I was twelve, almost 13.
    I moved here from, at the time, the "Whitest" state in the nation, with only 2-3% of the Vermont population being "of color". My only real exposure to "racism" or any of the "stereotypes" surrounding the south was from t.v. and "history" books in school. I was born in 1965, in the midst of the modern Civil Rights movement, so all of my knowledge of those events and their outcomes, up to 1978 was from a historical perspective. I assumed that all of that had been settled and was just part of the history books.
    I soon found out very differently.
    My first beating for being a "Damn Yankee" was 3 days into my 8th grade year, my first in the south. Because I talked funny. Because I was from "Yankeeland".
    My second beating was for being a "Yankee Ni–er Lovin Bitch". Because I wouldn't say THAT word. Because I said I didn't know any Black people to hate them. Because I was naive and really thought that the Civil War was over.
    Because I was naive and really thought that the Civil War was about states rights and taxes.
    Because I was naive and really thought that I still lived in The United States of America.
    And I was wrong on all counts.
    If you think I am wrong, just go to the Dothan Eagle website(a local newspapaer) and read some of the comments that are made on the various news stories…one about "White Flight seems to be slowing in Dothan schools"…just read them and you tell me if not only was the Civil War blatantly about slavery, but about their right to their overt racism that exists in spades, even today.
    I have lived all over this country. I have known a racist here and there in the many places I have lived. But I have lived here and had relatives live here for almost 33 years now and I PROMISE you, there is no place that takes their right to be racist as serious as the good White "Christian" folk here.
    And for you people defending the rights of the south to either a) own slaves b) not pay their fair of taxes or c) SECEDE from the United States of America, you should be ashamed and disgusted with yourselves. Any defense of the confederate rebel behavior preceding during or after the Civil War is just you trying to mask your own racist inclinations and feelings towards people of color.
    I live here, I know what these people are.
    Not all of them, but a very very LARGE majority of them.
    And it doesn't matter to me how many "northern leaders" you quote, it's no secret about the North. But I come from a state that had many hiding places used by the Underground Railroad. And maybe the rich "gentry" were like that but the average everyday northerner felt that everyone should be judged mostly on their work ethic and whether they would take care of themselves and their family, and then all the other aspects of his character. My ancestors fought in all the wars leading up to that awful Civil War, and in it as well. And they fought for the United States of America, the Union, the Republic.
    I call the confederates for what they were-traitors to my country. I consider that flag to be a personal insult levied by traitors towards my ancestors and towards my country. It is the flag of a foreign nation.
    This comment will probably be removed but I could not read these comments and not reply.
    This is the truth of the south as I know it to be.

    • Becky65

      It's not a bad statement. It is simply my experience in the region of the country the list is about.
      People should know the truth about which they speak, no?

    • Becky65

      Really…? You are not going to post it? Come on man, you live the one above mine calling someone a "fucking dumbass" but you won't post mine?
      Come ON.

      • I think it went to moderation because of size – I have approved your comment now.

        • Brian

          What was so offensive with this? I moved to southern Missouri from Pennsylvania and experienced the same thing. There is still a rebel flag flying off a large house in my town…it is pure ignorance to think that there is anything to be proud of in the Confederacy, a government that promoted inhumanity, racism, and tried to split the nation in two. Rebel flags should be burned, not flown…

        • Becky65

          Hey sorry…new here…just used to my comments being taken as offensive…
          If y'all lived here…you'd understand.
          Thank you for posting it.

    • JaRuBee


      You are dead on! Everything you said is 100% correct. I have lived in the south all my life except for time in the Navy. There are many good decent whites in the south who would not harm anyone. But there is still that racist element of diehard confederates and nothing has made them more upset since the Civil Rights Movement than the election of Pres. Obama.

      They even had a Secession Ball in Charleton, SC on Dec. 20 commenurating the forming of the Confederacy. Then they try to claim that it was not about slavery! Like you said, they were traitors to the United States and everyone of them including Lee and Davis should have been hanged as such!

  • Becky65

    Very disappointed in you moderators.
    Nothing I said in my post was rude or nasty in anyway, just a run down of my experiences here in southeast Alabama, and you wouldn't post it.
    Just wow.

    • Brian

      I don't think it was intentional Becky, but I understand your sentiments. I moved to southern Missouri in middle school and experienced the same ignorance (from some). I earned my degree in history and I try to demonstrate to locals that the Confederacy was a terrible thing. Unfortunately, intolerance is a difficult thing to uproot.

  • anne

    This list is revisionist history by someone born and raised with Southern texts.
    Google "history texts recalled Virginia" under News, to see another common myth about Black Soldiers fighting for the South.

  • Sarah

    As a non-American, I have harboured views that many people in the southern part advocated slavery well after the American Civil War, and that they were hell-bent on keeping slavery. That was my impression, at least, so the slavery issue was the most surprising to me.

  • JaRuBee

    Interesting article, but one can always tell a southern sympathizer by the downplaying of the role of slavery in the Civil War. They always make the point that slavery would have ended if the war had not happened. The fact is that the issue of slavery had been the most divisive issue in the country since the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Also if southerners were willing to give up slavery, why did they continue the peonage system of virtual slavery and Jim Crow until well into the 1960's?

  • AlreadyGone

    Yeah, yeah, up in Oregon they still have laws that ok you to hang a black person after 9pm fucking crazy! And to this day the North still is worse when it comes to racisim! Yall just don’t understand RACISIM is hear to stay…It don’t make it right.

  • gabby

    what is dis supoose to mean to mii question

  • Former Tennessee Guy

    The flag of Tennessee is not based on the old confederate flag. It is based on the three sections of the state which have completely different political traditions, cultures, economies, geographies, etc. In beginning, it petitioned Congress to make it three separate states, but was refused. So they used three stars, not bars, to represent the three “states” within the state. The only similarity with the Confederate flag are the colors, which are exactly the same as the US flag, and the colors of numerous countries around the world.

  • Alison

    I’m from Danville and when I was in school it was required to learn that we were the last capital of the Confederacy, lol. But, this is really interesting…

  • triepefectump


  • Paul Cameron

    Just found this site with its interesting reading. As somewhat of a side issue, I read somewhere that before the Civil War, 85% of the population were of British/Irish stock mainly, but after the Civil War the % went down to around 25%. I have many photos taken in the Civil War and can never forgot all those dead men pictured and have read the book ‘Andersonville’. That should have cured most folks of the ‘heroism’ of war. Just my thoughts without getting into further auguments. Just an old Okie.

  • NameKyle

    Awesome list thank you

  • cottonmouth919

    Hey FimCriticOne-Why don’t you take your inane vitriol and overblown sense of moral indignation and shove it straight up your Yankee ass?Put on your tassled loafers,adjust your Lacoste golf shirt and take a lap around your all-White neighborhood in your Volvo.You sir,are a self-important blowhard.You still aren’t going to be picked for the black guys team down at the Y-let it go…

  • Ralph

    Regarding number 1: If you read the Confederate Constitution, it wouldn’t have “ended slavery”. The usage is ending enslavement. At the time, the confederacy needed people to fight and they didn’t care about the color of the person as long as they fought. The constitution would have prevented free people of color from being enslaved, forced into slavery. Very different from ending slavery. The slave trade at this point had ceased to be lucrative, but there were enough slaves in the US to provide “breeding stock” (god I hate that phrase) for slavery to continue. Slavery was the only point of contention that there could be no compromise. Revisionist historians try to make this go away, but both Lincoln and Davis said, in their state of the union and inauguration speeches respectively, that the “ownership issue” was the only area that would not be resolved. It is worth mentioning that John Adams knew that this would be an issue in the future and he campaigned for it to be addressed in the US Constitution, but it was too hot and issue and Jefferson had it nixed.

  • Beth Taylor

    Stephanie Roberts, you homeschooled idiot. Your list is fiction. Find me one black confederate soldier. Just one, give me a name. You can’t because there aren’t any. MYTH. Again, Stephanie if you hadn’t been face down in your brother’s lap and gone to school instead, you would know this as fiction. Putting up a picture of a black soldier from WWI, just doesn’t cut it. Your explanation about geography, makes absolutely no sense. Take your KKK bed sheet, off stopping kissing your brother, and go get your GED. You might learn something.

  • Rufus T. Firefly

    Here is another article on why the South seceded, which cites documentation:

  • Interesting list, with a decided pro-Confederacy slant! Here are some examples of pesky little facts that may interfere with the reasoning of this author:

    Fact 9 – No, the coastline did not render the blockade impossible. In fact the blockade became increasingly effective and was strangling the confederate economy by the end, when only the most skillful blockade runners were able to make it through. And as for Texas’ shared border with Mexico… let’s just say that the events of the 1830s and 1840s reduced the motivation on the part of Mexico to trade with Texas. Besides, by 1863 the Mississippi was in Union hands, and traffic between Texas and the rest of the Confederacy was more difficult.

    Fact 4 – Yes, prisons were bad in both the North and South, but casualties for Southern troops held in the North were much lower. Do a little research on Andersonville prison in Georgia! Also, the reason the North cut off prisoner exchanges was because the South refused to relinquish blacks caught in Union uniforms, so Lincoln cut off all prisoner exchanges (a bold and risky move, it gave the Copperheads a powerful issue to use against him in the 1864 election).

    Fact 2 – Equal pay for black privates? The North enlisted 180,000 black soldiers, and did pay them less. There are few reliable sources of ANY black soldiers enlisted by the South, outside of personal aides for officers and the odd musician or laborer. In fact, President Davis had forbidden the use of slaves as combatants and only relented weeks before the war ended. Besides, Confederate money was rendered worthless by inflation, so in effect no Southern soldiers were getting paid regardless of race.

    Fact 1 – The South was not on the verge of ending slavery, in spite of what Southern apologists might claim. The supposed Union abuses that led to secession and the outbreak of war were mostly related to slavery (other than the occasional dispute over tariffs or infrastructure spending), and it was the chief issue that drove the two halves of our nation apart. While most of the men actually bleeding on the battlefield were not fighting for or against slavery (some Union troops were even slave owners from the border states), it can be argued that without slavery there would have been no war.

  • deneonaz

    LOVE THIS! we should have won that war, tisk tisk

  • Amber

    “When the Yankees Came” by Stephen Ash, is a well researched depiction of the Confederate perspective during the Civil War.